How do Singaporeans benefit from the investment returns from our reserves?
The investment returns from our reserves provide additional resources for Government spending to benefit Singaporeans. This includes Government investments in education, healthcare, transport infrastructure, R&D and other areas to improve our living environment and to grow our economy. The ability to tap our reserves in a sustainable manner is a significant financial advantage for Singapore. Our situation is quite unlike that in many countries that have to service their debts and other liabilities from their budgets on an annual basis, and hence either raise taxes for the purpose or engage in further borrowings so as to service current borrowings. In Singapore, the Government is instead able to take in money from the investment returns of our reserves to supplement our Budget on a sustained basis, in keeping with the provisions in the Constitution. The few other countries where Governments are able to derive net investment income for public spending are typically those with substantial reserves of natural resources such as oil. The investment returns of our reserves supplement the annual Budget through the Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC). The NIRC is estimated to be SS$21.6 billion in FY2022, or 20% of our budget.
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